These are the places you need to see at least once.
Cincinnati is experiencing something of a transformation, and has become one of the hottest emerging cities in the United States. The Queen City's renewal is best seen in flashy new public spaces, buzzy storefronts, and boutique hotels (during your stay, book a room at the 21c Museum Hotel). Of course, there's plenty of old Cincinnati to love. As a city steeped in history, visitors will stumble upon countless museums, landmarks, and impressive collections of 19th-century and Art Deco architecture. Check out these nine Cincinnati points of interest and attractions for a comprehensive tour.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Located in downtown Cincinnati, this museum focuses on the history of the Underground Railroad. The 158,000-square-foot center is home to stirring exhibits like a slave pen from a Kentucky tobacco farm that dates back to the 1830s.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Center
With over 65 acres of land and 30 different attractions, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Center is a great family-friendly destination. Unlike many zoos across the country, the Cincinnati Zoo breeds rare animals such as the California sea lion, and was the first to breed the American bison. Visitors should check in on Fiona, the adorable baby hippo born in February.
Situated on a hill with views overlooking downtown, this neighborhood is one of the hipper spots in the city. Historic houses and churches flank new bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops, while the narrow streets evoke a past era.
John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge
Connecting Cincinnati with neighboring Covington, Kentucky, this historic bridge is very similar to the slightly more modern Brooklyn Bridge, which was also designed by Roebling. Its proximity to downtown makes it easy to snag snapshots of this landmark.
This urban park is perched above the downtown area in the Mt. Adams and Walnut Hills neighborhoods, and offers multiple vistas overlooking the Ohio River Valley. The park contains multiple historic landmarks — a 19th-century water works tower, a 30-foot-tall obelisk from President Herbert Hoover — as well as two lakes adjoined by a picturesque footbridge.
Cincinnati Art Museum
Founded in 1881, the Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest in the country. The museum encompasses a collection of more than 67,000 pieces that ranges from Industrial Age silver works to contemporary local artists. Its location in Eden Park makes it a convenient stop during a weekend tour of Cincinnati.
Located in the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, this market first opened in 1855, and is the oldest continuously-operated public market in the state. Sample locally sourced produce at the outdoor farmers market, or peruse the gourmet shops and cafés.
Travelers may forget they are in an urban area while wandering through the wetlands, prairies, forests, and wildflower fields of Glenwood Gardens: a 335-acre park with miles of walking trails.
Mt. Echo Park
This 84-acre hilltop park affords visitors great views of downtown Cincinnati and even Northern Kentucky — arguably the best in the city. Hiking trails meander between sycamore and buckeye trees, along wooded slopes, and past an impressive 88-year-old pavilion.